Kilkenny was an important mediaeval city and, for a short period in the seventeenth century, a rival capital to Dublin. Perhaps this explains why, in addition to Lord Ormonde’s castle which dominates the skyline, the city was surrounded by a circle of important country houses of varying size. One of these is Blunden Villa, built in the middle of the nineteenth century near the entrance to Sir John Blunden’s demesne. According to family tradition he wished to ensure that his mother was settled in her own establishment before he brought his heiress bride home to Castle Blunden.
In appearance, Blunden Villa is a delightful small Regency house with a high ground floor above a semi-basement. The façade is of three bays, with the front door at the upper level approached by a wide flight of stone steps with contemporary iron railings. The door is surmounted by a fanlight and has delicate Wyatt windows to either side.
The plan is very slightly over square, as the façade is marginally shorter than the width from front to back, while the interior has high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms.
For many years Blunden Villa was used as a gate lodge to the principal house but in 2006 Jane and Caroline Blunden, twin daughters of the 6th baronet, decided to restore the building, which is now their Irish home.